Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Others, Adaptation, and Se7en

The Others 
The Others is about Grace (Nicole Kidman, who is really great in this movie) and her two light sensitive children who live in an old, Gothic mansion- made scarier as it is constantly shrouded in darkness as a result of the children's condition.  When intruders start appearing in the house, Grace isn't quite sure what she should do.    

I caught the last half an hour or so of this movie a very long time ago and have wanted to see the whole movie for a long time since.  I loved the ending but hate the way DVDs advertise it- come on- spoilers much?  The Others has a lot of truly eerie moments: the pictures of the dead, when Grace and her children finally learn the truth about the servants in their house, and the final sequence when your mind is literally blown away but you're also terrified by what's going on.  It's a decent movie, not really worth watching more than a few times.   I do applaud the movie for really creating a creepy, eerie atmosphere; it's so refreshing to see an actual horror movie based on genuine chills as opposed to another gory horror movie.

Adaptation follows tormented, self-loathing Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) who is struggling with his adaptation of Susan Orlean (Meryl Strep)'s book The Orchid Thief.

I really wanted to like this movie.  I really did, b/c I've liked many of Charlie Kaufman's other stuff. I loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- one of my favorite movies EVER, and really enjoyed Being John Malkovich - it's so out there but it's so much fun, but I just could not get into Adaptation.  I tolerated it up until they end up in Florida and people are trying to kill each other.  It's too much, too regular action movie for it to be believable in the realm of the Adaptation world.  Adaptation does contain some great quotes though and it has one of the best perspectives on love I've heard in a very long time.     
Charlie Kaufman: How come you looked so happy?  
Donald Kaufman: I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn't have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.  
Charlie Kaufman: But she thought you were pathetic.  
Donald Kaufman: That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That's what I decided a long time ago. 

Speaking of Adaptation, one helpful screen writing tip that Adaptation offered was that endings really matter.  Even if you have a mediocre movie, if the ending is solid, then you have a good movie.  This really applies to Se7en, which I finally saw recently.


Se7en is follows two police officers, world-weary Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and hot-heated rookie Mills ( Brad Pitt) as they try to figure out who has been committing all of these horrific crimes that follow the Seven Deadly Sins.   Even though I already roughly knew what happens, I was still very curious to see the movie.  Up until the last act, it was an okay film- mainly memorable for how gory and unique the murders are and a fine performance from Freeman.  The cat and mouse game between the detectives and the killer was intriguing, but certainly not the best that I've seen.  It was a bit frustrating to watch how rushed and excitable Mills was-makes him seem more naive than he should be and also, later on, how far behind the detectives really were.  Like Somerset says cynically, their job isn't to solve murders, it's to track down what happens and organize them into neat little piles.

And then it got to the last 30 minutes of the movie, and I was absolutely blown away.  It's amazing how that final car ride changes everything, how the tension just keeps rising and rising as they get closer and closer to their destination.  And that's why Se7en's so memorable and talked about years after it's been in theaters.
Se7en is a great film but definitely not for people who scare easily.

Films Currently in Theaters

I also recently wrote reviews for Horrible Bosses (good movie!  Lots of fun)  and Cars 2 (not so great...oh Pixar, you've let me down!).

1 comment:

  1. I loved the performance of both male leads in Se7en. That ending is staying with me forever...